Wednesday, January 24, 2018

DIY Farewell Gifts - Popsicle People

Last year was Irene's final year in pre-school, true to the saying that all good things must come to an end. She had a wonderful 2 years in pre-school and was ready to embark on a new journey to the big kids' school, i.e. the primary school. I asked her to make some farewell gifts for her classmates as she may not be seeing most of them as everyone makes their own ways to different schools. I wanted her to make a personalized gift, something she made herself rather than buying stuffs off the rack. I came up with an idea to make Popsicle People when I saw some craft foams in the shape of a human at Popular Bookshop. I also bought some googly eyes for the people.

Gather the materials.

Craft foam, RM4.90, 8 pieces per packet

Googly eyes, RM1 for 3 pairs at Klim Craft, Ampang Point

Irene wrote 'From: Irene' at the back of the foam using a marker pen.

On the front part, she wrote 'Until we meet again!' and also pasted the googly eyes using white glue.

Let the eyes dry completely.

Attach popsicle sticks onto the back of the foam.

The finished products. Aren't they cute?

I found this cute printable owl notes on and printed them, cut and made Irene write on them to be attached to the paperbag.

The two siblings hard at work.

 These cute wooden owl clips were bought from Mr. D.I.Y.

 We bought some paperbags to put the Popsicle People together with a few other items.

Owl Miss You. Isn't that cute?

The end products. 

Irene gave her friends a bag each. I hope her friends will keep the Popsicle People and remember Irene and all their fun times and sweet memories in pre-school. 

After One Year

OMG I just noticed that I did not make a single blog post for the whole of 2017!! What happened?? Why did it happen?
I think it is because of Facebook and Instagram. I now post on Instagram more than on Facebook and my captions are always long, almost like a blog post. Perhaps some things should be blogged instead of sharing on Facebook and Instagram.
I was transferring thousands of pictures from my phone to my external hard disk and as I was about to delete some, I remembered about this blog of mine. I have a lot of things to blog about and I shall start soonest!
Till then!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DIY Pirate Sword and Pirate Hook

We received an invitation to a pirate-themed birthday party on the eve of Christmas Day. Since I was still in the mood of doing DIY stuffs and dressing the kids up, I decided to purchase some pirate stuffs online (for less than RM50) which consist of:
  • 2 bandanas
  • 1 pirate cap
  • 1 set of eye patch and earring
  • 1 set of bandana+eye patch+earring 

However, a pirate costume is not complete without a sword and a hook so as usual, Pinterest came to my rescue. 
I used a cardboard box that was lying around in the house and started drawing the shape of the sword. Then I traced the same pattern on another piece of cardboard. This is Babypie's sword.
For Babycakes, I decided to make a different shaped sword, just because. However, when I was cutting the cardboard, I kinda regretted doing this shape as cutting it was more difficult than cutting straight lines like the first sword. I did the same for this sword whereby I drew, cut and trace.
You will end up with two pieces of the swords. Actually it is OK to only have one piece but I want the sword to be sturdy therefore I cut two pieces of each and glued them together using white glue. You can use any type of glue.
Initially I thought of getting the kids to use watercolour to colour their swords but the swords won't be firm and sturdy so what I did was, I bought some black pvc tape and covered the hilt (handle) of the sword with it. As for the blade, I used aluminium foil to cover. However, the foil doesn't stick well and it is easily torn. Thinking that since the kids may play with the swords roughly, the cardboard may not be able to withstand the force. So I scrapped the foil idea.
I went to Daiso and bought this silver cloth tape which is perfect for the sword. 
I simply wrapped the swords with the tape. Due to the shapes of the swords, clearly you can see that the tape was overlapping one another but in the end, all parts of the cardboard was covered with tape and they were firm and sturdy. They sure looked like real pirate swords, don't you think?
Once the swords were done, I started working on making the hooks. There are so many tutorials available and I found this one the easiest. All you need is paper cups or plastic cups, a pair of scissors and aluminium foil. 
Cut the foil and cover the whole cup with the foil. Simply fold in the remaining of the foil into the cup. I didn't even use any tape to make the foil stick to the cups. Take another sheet of foil and roll them up tightly and shape them into a hook shape. Then, cut a hole at the bottom of the cup and insert the hook. To make the hook stay in place, I used some silver cloth tape.
These are the end products. I put the kids' name label on the hilt of the swords so that they don't fight over which one belongs to whom.
On the day of the party, my kids were all dressed up in their pirate costumes. Babypie was wearing a red and white stripe long sleeve shirt which has elbow patches and a cute little pocket with dark blue pants while Babycakes simply wore a T-shirt with a picture of a tiger wearing a pirate hat and grey pants. Their T-shirts are from H&M. Both of them also wore the bandana and Babycakes was wearing an eye patch and also a hoop earring. Babypie refused to wear the eye patch though.
 Ready for some swash-bucklin' actions!
Babycakes trying to look mean like a pirate. Arrr!
Babypie showing off his sword and the hook that Mummy made. 
A pirate needs a break too!
Here is one picture with the birthday boy, their cousin Armaan who turned 4 on 18.12.2016. The party was a joint celebration with Armaan's other cousins Asadel (3), Aariz and Adelia (twins,1). Babycakes and Babypie sure had fun and looked the part and Mummy had fun dressing them up for sure.
As for me, I simply wore a striped top and tied a bandana around my neck. Before that, I wore the bandana. Seen here in this pic, I was wearing a pirate cap whereass for Hubby, the beard and the pirate hat were party props prepared by the organizer. Initially Hubby wore the pirate cap that I had on. Dressing up for themed parties are fun but they don't need to cost a bomb. You just need to be more efficient and put in a little bit more effort to DIY. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

How I Created The Ice Queen Look For My Daughter

In conjunction with the Christmas seasons, shopping malls all around are having beautiful Christmas decorations and all kinds of activities were lined up especially now is also school holidays. I found out about this Little Ice King & Queen Competition when I went to Jaya Shopping Centre about two weeks ago. So I quickly registered for Babycakes to join the competition. After that, I started thinking about her costume. Obviously she doesn't have any dress that fits the theme so I started to Google for ideas and inspirations and thanks to Pinterest, there are tons of ideas for Ice Queen costume. I didn't want to spend so much on the costume but I know I still have to 'invest' some money in order for her to win. 
First up was finding the perfect dress. We vowed to stay away from being Elsa or Elsa-ish as she says that she no longer likes Frozen. Yeah, I guess the Frozen fever has passed. She used to be so obsessed with Frozen but she has now moved on to obsessing over My Little Pony. We went all the way to GM Klang to find the dress for her. We basically spent almost the whole afternoon walking from one shop to another, from Block A to Block B and then back to Block A and return to Block B again. We also went to all floors of both blocks. It sure was a workout for us! There were so many shops selling all kinds of everything and finally we found a white gown for her which is not too expensive yet looks so pretty and regal. You may not believe me but the gown costs us less than RM100. You really have to scour and look for it and you can actually find such gorgeous gowns, fit for a princess, perfect for little flower girls and so much more at such a cheap price. If I were to buy such gown at the shopping malls, it will definitely cost me more than RM150. I am not willing to spend that much on her gown.. This gown is actually a few sizes bigger as we wanted to find a long gown and not a knee-length gown. She will grow into this gown as she gets taller but at the moment, the length is just perfect for an ice queen.
I was so inspired from the ideas on Pinterest and I know a Queen needs to have a cape or a cloak so I searched hi and lo for the right material and then I found a shop selling all kinds of materials and craft supplies especially for wedding purposes. Initially I wanted to buy a soft, flannel-like or velvet-like material but one flannel-like material was selling at RM23 per meter. I think it's a bit too expensive and then as I was searching, I saw a golden shiny material. I asked if they had the material in white or silver and luckily they had. The material was already cut and packed in 1 meter length and it is only RM9 per meter. Score! I measured it on Babycakes and 1 meter was just nice, not too long and not too short. Next on my list is to look for some fur/feather to put on the edges of the material. I couldn't find any in GM Klang so I kiv the fur/feather. 
Other stuffs I bought at the same shop selling the shiny material was a pack of 12 bottles glitter dust. I almost gave up looking for them because when I asked several shops "ada jual serbuk kilat-kilat tak?" or "ada jual gold dust?" Most of the shops said no. Even the owner of the shop was confused when I asked for gold dust/serbuk kilat-kilat. She then said "Eh kejap, yang macam ni ke?" while showing me the glitter dust. I was like "Haaaaaaa yang ni la kak!" She replied, "Laaa biasanya orang sebut glitter poder (powder)". Ohkaaay~ At first I wanted to buy only these three colours but after doing some calculation, buying the whole pack of 12 is more worth the money. Even though I am only using these three colours for the competition, at least I can keep the other colours for future use. A pack of 12 bottles glitter powder/gold dust/serbuk kilat-kilat or whatever name you call it costs me RM23.50.
Since that weekend was a long weekend, the next day, we went to find other stuffs. I bought a glue gun, glue sticks, the white container and the silver Christmas ornament from Mr. D.I.Y. The white container is RM5.90 while the silver ornament is only RM1.90. I also bought a packet of 'snow' for RM3.90. I put some of the snow into the container and asked her to sprinkle the snow when she goes on stage.
Actually we bought a tiara in GM Klang for RM20 but after looking at the stuffs online, I thought that the tiara isn't fit for an ice queen. That was why I bought the glue gun- so I can create her own ice crown. You can search on Youtube for the tutorial. Trust me, it is so easy! So one night, after the kids had gone to bed, I set to work. I cannot have them around when I'm doing it because it involves hot glue and glitters. What I did was I took a piece of parchment paper and started doodling some icicles on the paper. The icicles were made in several lengths and they're pointy and jagged.
Sprinkle some white, silver and blue glitter dust while the glue is still wet and let it cool to dry. See the metal headband in the picture? I used an old headband, stripped off the ribbon and cleaned any leftover glue residue. Once the 'icicles' have dried, simply peel them off the parchment paper and attach them onto the headband using the glue gun. Be careful not to burn your fingers with the hot glue though!
This is the end product. You can either make long icicles and arrange the long ones in the middle followed by the shorter ones by the side like what I did or you can make all in the same length and arrange them accordingly. Remember that they are supposed to be icicles so they shouldn't have a uniform size, length or shape.
As for her scepter, I took a plastic flag rod which is lying around the house and simply wrapped the rod with aluminum foil. Then I used my glue gun to attach the ornament on top of the rod. I only added the ribbon much later. The ribbon was a last-minute addition as I didn't have time to buy any but luckily I found some bluish and white ribbon strips lying around the house. The ribbon sure added that extra glam to the scepter.
Time was running out and I still couldn't find the fur or feather to attach to the cape. I searched online and there are a few shops selling them. I was relieved. However, I need to make sure that the item reaches me before the weekend or it will defeat the purpose. Then I called up Balloon Buzz in Hartamas Shopping Centre and asked if they had any. Thankfully they have 3 pieces of white feather boa left. I was so relieved and that evening, right after work, I dropped by Balloon Buzz to purchase the feather boa. The feather boa costs me RM29. I think the feather boa is a bit too expensive but I was left with no choice. There was an online shop selling for RM18 but I have to pay RM13.80 for shipment by GedEx. That also does not ensure that the item will reach me before the weekend. Anyway, I bought 1 piece from Balloon Buzz and cut them into two. Instead of sewing them onto the cape, I just used a lot of safety pins to attach them. First, I suck at sewing. Second, I can't recycle the shiny material without having to cut off the feather if I had sewn them together. This is how the cape looks like from behind. Pretty grand, I must say!
To complete her look, we also bought white satin gloves for her at GM Klang. This pair of gloves only costs me RM18.90. There are several shops selling for double the price. Believe it or not, we had to search for this shop again because I don't want to pay double for the exact same thing. A note to myself and a friendly reminder if you plan to shop in GM Klang, make sure you take pictures of the name, location and display of the shop so you can locate the shop easily should you wish to return. Of course I didn't buy the gloves in the first instant because I wanted to survey and walk around. This is also why we went to Block A then Block B, this floor and that floor because I couldn't locate the shop. Thankfully after so much walking and searching, we found the shop again and we bought the gloves, which fits her like a second skin. 

This is her final look. It sure took a lot of effort to create this look but I was happy to see how pretty my Babycakes is. Doesn't she look regal? She was wearing a pair of silver glitter shoes but it's covered by her gown.
To attach the cape, I simply used a silver brooch. I also put on some light makeup on her consisting of white and blue eyeshadow. 
Here are the other contestants for the day. See that Babypie doesn't want to miss out on the fun too. The first prize winners for both Ice King and Ice Queen Categories had led lights on their outfits. The Ice King had lights on his cape while the Ice Queen had lights on her dress and wings.
Babycakes won 2nd place for the Ice Queen Category and she got a Lego Friends set. She was so happy and confident enough to walk up on stage, answered the emcee's questions, sprinkled her snow and even bowed to the crowd. Most importantly she had fun and she gained yet another beautiful memory of joining this competition. Mummy had fun dressing her up too and it is all worth it seeing her happy face.

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Not-So-Batik Kek Batik

Last night I made my very first Kek Batik. I saw a video on Kek Batik on Facebook so I googled the recipe. There are now a Kek Batik version with cheese OK! Wow. I shall try that someday. But the recipe I used was from this website.
It was pretty easy except for the part where my Milo becomes lumpy and I had to stir on very low heat until my hand hurts. LOL. The good thing about this recipe is that the Kek Batik didn't turn out to be too sweet. It has the nice balance of sweetness, buttery and creamy from the combination of butter, condensed milk, Milo and cocoa powder. I omitted the vanilla essence. After I was done, I covered the tin with cling film and kept it in the fridge. 
This morning, I took it out to cut. My mistake was that I used tin foil and the tin foil I used isn't the heavy-duty type. I bought mine at Daiso so it's really thin and easily torn. It was hard to remove the tin foil from the Kek Batik, especially at the corners and the edges of the Kek Batik. Gosh. I should have used parchment paper instead!
This is the reason why I called it Not-So-Batik Kek Batik because clearly you can see that the layers aren't pretty. I followed the exact measurement so the chocolate should be enough, right? It was challenging to press the cookies too to make it compressed. And cutting the Kek Batik is quite a chore OMG. I thought it is one of the easiest cakes to make! I used a long serrated knife and I think I should have used a normal knife. The biscuits weren't soft so they sort of crumbled under my knife. Aren't they supposed to be soft-ish? Despite the appearance, I am glad it tasted so nice. I gave some to my babysitters and some to my office cleaner lady and also packed a few slices in the kids' lunchbox today. Appearance can be improved, definitely.